29 April 2014

It's your choice

Your mood, it's totally something you choose. I choose to be happy, and some days it's not an easy choice, especially when others are attempting to do everything in their power to make chaos in your world... but I simply smile to myself and choose to be happy.

You see, there is an unsavory element that moved onto our street.  Loud, brash, passive aggressive, and truly obnoxious.  She's also physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive towards her children which has apparently been reported and followed up on.  I know this because the unsavory soul spent the better part of this morning threatening her kids with passive aggressive insults hurled towards me... and I know it's me because I was the only lady to be referenced at the bus stop.

I will never understand the mentality of those who act like that.  Do they think it makes them look tough?  Cool?  Intimidating?  In all honesty, it just makes them look small, sad, and rather pathetic.  Creating chaos where there is none is a sign of someone who has been abused because they can't function without chaos so they create it to feel empowered and in control... and those who have been or are abused tend to do the same to others, which is a sad cycle.

I'm not angered by this woman, I'm saddened by her.  I hope she gets help and her children are safe.  I won't allow her to steal my happiness because I choose to not react to her goading, which simple fuels her anger and rage more but there is nothing I can do about someone who thrives on negativity.  I will simply continue to say a prayer for her that she gets the help she so obviously needs.

Everything in life comes down to a series of choices.  Here's to always choosing happiness and light... no matter how hard it may be some times.

28 April 2014

Shake things up a bit

20 months.  That's how long I have lived with the furniture in the exact same place.  That's a very long time... and it was time to shake things up a bit.  Now, this takes careful planning because both Pokey and Hobbit don't do well with change so I had to ease into it.  I think I casually mentioned it about three weeks ago, got thoughtful about it two weeks ago, made a statement that it would happen last week, and last night I started implementing it.

You see, the loveseat we purchased back when we moved in here has simply fallen apart.  I don't know why it hasn't lasted as well as the sofa but it hasn't and I was just tired of looking at it all sad and knowing it was not going to live much longer.  I decided that until we could afford a new one, I would put it in the playroom and bring back in my super fabulous lazyboy that has served my family well for almost 10 years.  Yep, we bought that when I was pregnant with Hobbit and she just turned 9 so that chair is going on 10 years old... wow.  I think it looks okay in there -

Perhaps I should have tidied up before taking the pictures... oh well, it's lived in, right...
My next thing to replace is the carpet.  I want something larger and has some rust coloring along with the green and blue... even a warm brown would work... because it will tie in with the drapes and the chair I'm going to bring in for Hobbit.  I need to vacuum it and have Pokey help me carry it in so that will happen on Wednesday.  The bigger rug will also help anchor the chairs because on the tile, they'll travel a bit and I hate that.

Since we had the dining room table moved into the kitchen portion while we took the loveseat out and brought the one chair back in, I made my second move of the evening, rotating the dining room table by a quarter.  I wanted to try it this way for a while but never got around to doing it.  I think it makes the room feel more open and gives a better flow around the house in that area.  Pokey didn't run into it this morning so that is always a good sign...

It' can't be centered because of the strange little wall to the right you can't see but I like it.
This is the view from the kitchen looking directly at it.  I think it just feels more open.  It's hard to describe but when the table was going the other way, it felt boxy and closed off.

My next project, the only person I have to consult with is me, and I'm fairly reasonable and creative so I think it will be a breeze.  I want to reimagine my office space.  I spend so much time sitting right here - working on the blog, patterns, or my night job that I want it to be more inviting and fun and functional.

I'm thinking it will involve tiers, shelves, baskets, and possibly even cupboards... lots of love is needed either way.
It works okay right now but it still isn't quite right but I'll fix it soon enough.  If you have any great suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  The spring cleaning bug has bit and now I'm off to finish up... wonder if I can rearrange my bedroom next...

27 April 2014

The little lovelies in life

I had a wonderful surprise today.  Last night, when I was coming to the end of my shift, I popped over to the scheduling program we use and noticed that I did not have to work on Sunday.  I was certain that I did but it was such a lovely treat to learn that I would have the day off - especially when I have to go in for 4 hours on each of my days off this week for training... oh well, positive spin is the extra funds will go straight towards our family vacation.  Yay for that!

Here's a look back at our week on the mend, full of feverish fun - literally and figuratively...

We ended and started the week at Walt Disney World to celebrate Hobbit's birthday and Easter.

Someone was a bit overjoyed at the idea of getting made up to look like a tiny princess.

I wrote out my PIXAR project for Disney Adventures which will double for my HPKCHC Potions OWL this Spring

All of us have been attempting to recover from various bouts of flu and infections for most of the week.
I'm happy to announce that Pokey and I took our last doses of medicine last night and this morning respectively.  Hobbit still has a few more days to go but she seems to clearing up nicely as well.  I still have a hoarseness to my voice that I hope goes away considering my job deals with talking on the phone all night.  Sounding like Kathleen Turner is getting old, I miss my own voice.

Here's to a better week!

26 April 2014

Happy Saturday

First off, I want to congratulate the winner of my giveaway, the most awesome Stacy!  I know she will get a lot of use out of this pattern book for her two precious little ones... and yes, I'll lend a hand if you get stuck though you are becoming a crochet rock star!  I've sent your information on to my contact at RAKJpatterns so they will be shipping your book shortly.  I can't wait to see what you create first.

Today, as you can see by the time stamp on this post, is actually still my yesterday because I've not gone to sleep yet.  For some reason, I am wide awake.  I really should go to bed but thankfully, it's the weekend, so I don't have to worry about getting up in time for Hobbit to go to school.  We can just be lazy.  I figured I have to work from the shift I just finished all the way through until May 3rd without a full proper day off because of training so I'm not busting my tail this weekend at all - especially since I've been sick for the past two weeks.  Yep, lazy days ahead.

Harry Potter movie marathon and crafting... that's all I'm planning.  What about you?

24 April 2014

On the mend

Just a need to finish the row.
Good gravy, I pray that we all never get sick at the same time again.  This has been one hellacious week, I swear.  No one can say anything to anyone without it being misconstrued and someone getting upset.  I've taken to just hiding in here and being quiet.  Thankfully, everyone is back at their respective positions in life so I can have some peace and quiet for a little while.

Not much has been going on in the crafting front.  I did, however, write up all my proposals for my tournament crafting groups on Ravelry.  I have my Potions OWL set and ready to go - which I'm using the same project for my PIXAR proposal - and I have decided on my BROOM for my Order of the Phoenix Mission.  It should be a ton of fun but I have to wait for one week because nothing starts until May 1st.

I also started on some bartering squares.  There is a girl in Slytherin who does these awesome wood-burned boxes and so she and I struck a deal.  She's making me a box to store my hooks and I'm making her 12" blanket squares that she was needing.  I have since learned that I don't really like making such big squares.  My first one is almost complete, as you can see, but it wasn't as much fun as making the smaller ones.  I quoted her 30 squares but she thought it was too much so perhaps I'll make 15 instead.  I don't know.  We'll see how it goes and where I end up.  I told myself to make one a day, two if I can muster it, so that I have a good pile for when she's done with my box.  Neither one of us was any good at deciding what would be an appropriate number so I just looked up the dimensions for a twin size comforter and made it a tad smaller.

I do wish it was May 1st though because I would like to start on my OWL project... it's been calling my name for two weeks now!  Don't forget to share your stories for a chance to win that fabulous pattern book.  Entries close this Friday!

My photo assistant is always camera ready, Tinkerbell saw I was using the front window and was ready for her close up... silly girl.

21 April 2014

A bit of fun

Oh my stars, this has been a long and exhausting weekend.  The things you do for your kids, I swear... although, if given the chance to do it all over again I definitely would because I know it meant the world to her.

We took Hobbit to the Bippiti Boppiti Boutique on Friday to celebrate her 9th birthday.  She bobbled back and forth between tears of joy and giggle fits of disbelief over it all.  I was sick as a dog too, popping Dayquil every four hours like it was going out of style because I wasn't going to let what I thought was a simple cold hold me down.  Lost my voice on Friday morning but I was determined to make this the most amazing birthday for my baby girl.  She had a blast though - here are a few of the hundreds (yes, literally) pictures I took of her birthday.

Her dress, crown, and scepter waiting for her in the dressing room.

Getting everything ready to tame those curls into a Princess bun.

I love the escape curls in the front there.

Hair, nails, make up... the whole nine yards was going on.

Time for some magic sparkles to make it all complete.

She even sparkled her shoes!

Princess Hobbit, ready for supper with Cinderella!

We managed to dodge the thunderstorms and make it perfectly intact for supper.

Prince Charming lived up to his name, until he tripped her on accident...

Cinderella was absolutely lovely...

Anastasia was a hoot and a half - asking if Hobbit dressed up like her, to which she said "yes, of course"...

One of my favorite villains - Lady Tremaine... that face is perfect!

Drizella asked how it all worked out with Prince Phillip because if he was available, it was her turn.

They even gave her a birthday placemat and cupcake!

My little princess coming down the grand staircase.

This the next morning... yes, the hair stayed perfectly in place!

Pokey was chosen as an extra in the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular... too much fun!

By lunch, she was living up to her name...

She woke to a cupcake that was delivered to her from Prince Phillip!

After lunch, we went over to Nana & PopPop's house to celebrate... because every princess needs a Darth Vadar cake!

We stayed over at my folks' house to celebrate Easter Sunday with them as well.  My voice was still gone and I was feeling miserable but that's when the tummy bug I had on Monday hit poor Pokey and he was just miserable all day.  It looked like we would be staying a second night but he was able to rally enough for us to drive the two hours home.

Today, Hobbit went to school and I drug Pokey with me to the doctor's office to figure out why my voice was still gone and the Dayquil wasn't working... that's when we learned that I have been fighting an upper respiratory infection and he has the flu.  Thankfully, Hobbit has walked away unscathed which is perfect.  She loved every minute of this past weekend and said it was the best birthday and Easter ever - precious memories to last her forever.

Don't forget about the giveaway I have going on right now - you could share some of your special memories with your mom or your kids and be entered into the drawing for an awesome book courtesy of RAKJpatterns.  Click the link and join in the fun.

17 April 2014

Book review and a prize for you!

It is my honor to introduce you to one of my favorite designers.  She makes the most creative and whimsical items, her instructions are super easy to follow, and the end results are always perfect.  Say hi to Kristi Simpson from RAKJpatterns.

Kristi recently asked if I would be willing to review her book on my little space in the crafting world and naturally, I said yes!  I knew I would be getting a book that had some cute patterns in it but I had no idea that every pattern would have me reaching for my hook.  They are seriously that amazing.  Here, it's easier for me to show you exactly what I'm talking about...

You don't have to know how to do a single stitch - the photo tutorials will walk you through every single step of each stitch she uses in her hats.
Look at how stinking cute these creations are - how can you not want to make every single one offered?!?
30 hats means 30 different hats - not 15 hats sized for adult and children.  And the sizing, holy wow... no nogging is too big or too small for one of these.
I had to grab my hook the minute I saw this one because my niece is having her first baby in May.. she needed this hat.

So I made one for little Ruby and one for my niece who is a Marine stationed in Okinawa, Japan.  I chose that green so the hat wasn't too girly but still stylish and feminine.
These hats whip up like a dream.  The directions are super simple to follow - no complicated or fancy terminology.  Kristi explains the pattern just as if she were sitting on the sofa next to you, hooking along.  These patterns are for anyone who has a desire to pick up a hook and make a hat... be it your first or your four hundred and forty first.  You will absolutely love them all.

So, would you like your own copy of this fabulous new pattern book?  It's simple - share your favorite memory of you and your mother, or of you and your kids, in the comments below.  You know you have some crazy tales to tell and we'd love to hear them.  I'll collect all the entries and draw a winner from them on Saturday, April 26th.  All entries must be made by 11:59 pm ET on Friday, April 25th.  Be sure to leave a way for me to get in contact with you - email address or Ravelry ID preferred.  Shipping is limited to the US.

Good luck!!

16 April 2014

Ugh, have mercy...

I know, I've been quiet for a while and I'm so sorry!  I have been sick as a dog and today is the first day where being vertical doesn't make me physically ill.  It's funny how getting dressed and making a cup of tea is now considered a major accomplishment.  My next milestone, eating something and staying awake for more than 30 minutes at a shot.

I have spent the better part of the past 72 hours asleep.  If I wasn't crashed out on the sofa, I was fumbling to the potty... at one point, I just crashed on the potty floor because it saved me the trouble of running.  Pokey was worried about me but I'm starting to see the light on the other side.

Today's residual ickiness is my throat is so sore and icky thick right now.  I have my tea so hopefully that will sooth it a bit.  Just now, a hankering for dry toast hit me so I think I'll pop a piece of bread in the toaster.

Tomorrow, I've got something super special coming your way... thankfully, I wrote it up last week because I would hate to be late posting about a fabulous giveaway...

Oh wait... did I say that out loud? 

Off to make toast and curl back into my blanket cocoon on the sofa.  I'm thinking a West Wing or Scandal marathon is what is needed today... plus lots and lots of tea.

See you tomorrow.

10 April 2014

Totally chuffed!

Remember the bag I had to finish yesterday... welp, it's all done!  I absolutely love how it came out.
I am so chuffed over how this bag came out.  It was just a whim, a random idea of something I wanted to have and then three days later it physically exists and ticks all the boxes.

I wanted something light, pretty, 'just big enough but not too big', soft, sturdy, and original.  I had a rough idea about how I wanted it to look too so I sat down and got to work.  The hardest part of it all was the lining because I have a fear of my sewing machine - not a 'fear' fear but just worry about flubbing up kind of fear.  I'm happy to report that nothing catastrophic happened, mostly because my mama walked me through the hardest part over a very confusing phone conversation... those of us who talk with our hands can't be seen to explain the stuff that confuses us which makes for a trying conversation.

Now, less than 72 hours later, what was just an idea is now a reality.  Being crafty really is a fabulous thing... and now I have this song running through my head...

09 April 2014

Winding up

Lots of fun things going on around here... and all of them are just about done which is exciting!
I have a really hard time crafting when there aren't imaginary points involved.  Joining the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup (aka HPKCHC) almost two and half years ago was the best thing for my productivity.  I love making things for imaginary points so that I can help my house win an imaginary cup - both the House and Quidditch varieties.  Nothing is better than being a part of this group - where they cheer you on, encourage you to try new things, and support you when things don't work out just right.

We are currently in a break month and generally I try to rest my hands during that time since I go full force for three months straight.  Just to give you an idea, this past Winter Term (which ran from January 1 - March 31), I vanished over 6,772 yards of fabulous yarn... and that's just the projects where I kept track of the yardage.  I have several items in there without final numbers on them.  24 projects in 3 months.  That's 6 classes each month, plus Quidditch all term, plus my Order of the Phoenix Mission that I completed.  I'm not counting my failed OWL because I truly believed that, for me, Herbology is jinxed.

So these two things that I have been working on, while may not seem like much, they are a huge deal.  We're in break month right now so there are no classes.  We are just about ready to participate in our End of Term Feast, where we see who brings home the House and Quidditch cups.  My money's on Slytherin... then again, my money is always on my own house!

The purse is about done.  I need to sew the strap to the sides, add the embroidery idea that I have been mulling over, and then go through my fabric stash to see what kind of lining I want.  It's my new park hopping bag for when we go to Walt Disney World.  The less I have to carry, the cooler I will feel.  If we opt to bring lunches then Pokey will carry the back pack full of supplies but if it's just a pop over for some fun, my new little purse should be perfect.

The other item is something that I can't wait to share with you... in another 12 days.  Yep, 12 days.  Can you handle it?  Can you wait that long?  I know, I'm a stinker for teasing you but I've got to cracking if it's going to be of value - which I know it will be because it is so fully awesome I'm busting at the seams to tell you about it.

Okay, off to go finish up these things and perhaps play catch up with my DVR... something was recording last night but I can't remember what it might have been so it's a surprise for me at least.  Have a wonderful day - and if you have a second, come check our fabulous game... even Ravelry has it on the front page this week because we are that magically delicious... wait... what...

08 April 2014

Just jammin'

It is a gross day here today - I love it!  Well, I could do without the thunderstorm aspect of it and just have the rain but we can't have it all.  Pokey took a vacation day today and another on Thursday so it's going to be a random but short week for him.

We're going to brave the weather after Hobbit gets on the bus for school and head over to the store so I can get a few things.  Starbucks is naturally on order since I don't get to pop in whenever I wish now, which makes it real treat when we do go... and it's been nice on my wallet.

Here's a tune to get your day going right.  You can thank Peanut for this one, she introduced me to them the other day.  I hope you have a terrific Tuesday!

07 April 2014

Balancing act

Working from home sounds like it is a dream job, doesn't it.  It's got a lot of perks and a lot of pluses to it but don't be fooled, like any job out there, it has a few set backs.  My biggest one, life balance.

It's a constant juggle to keep things separated.  I have the personality type where I can get lost in my work.  It happened at Disney and my family suffered because of it.  I would go in to work early and stay at work late.  Not because I didn't want to be at home - I did, I love my family to no end - but I also loved my job to no end.  I had a difficult time striking a healthy balance.

I love working on cases at my current job.  If I could do nothing but research all day, I would be one happy camper.  It's not that I don't like talking to people, it's just that I enjoy getting lost in the research that much more.  The problem comes in when there is overtime available.  An hour here, two hours there, and before I know it, I've worked half a shift before my shift even starts.
My work space, in all it's 'natural' glory.. except my tablet which normally sits on the big square and plays music or shows while I work so I don't get whackadoodle in a quiet room.
When that happens, my house suffers.  Sure, I've not physically left my house but I've not attended to it either.  Supper duty gets left on my husband's shoulders after he's worked a long day.  My daughter ends up eating super late because of either my break schedule or his work schedule getting him home after 7 pm.  There are Buddy Bunnies plotting a house-wide coup.  Mt. Dontwannawashit becomes a daunting thing and the kitchen, though technically a chore that my husband volunteered to acquire when I went back to work, just gets too icky for me to function.

It doesn't happen overnight.  It just slowly creeps up on me so then I take a day and reign it all back in.  I don't like those days - because it means I've lost my balance again.  Tomorrow will be one of those days for me, though I've gotten a head start on it yesterday so it won't be so bad.

Once you find your balance, do your best to keep it up.  Everyone in your life will be happier for it - including yourself.  I love the book of Proverbs so whenever I get out of balance, Chapter 11, Verse 1 always pops into my head... "A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is His delight."

It's time for me to get a just weight again.

05 April 2014

The preciousness of it all

The last half of this week has been a rough one but it looks like things have evened out.  Enough time has past to where I can write about it without raw emotion taking over, which is always a good thing.

Wednesday night at 11 pm, our phone rang.  Now let me preface this by saying that our family, both nuclear and extended, have a universal rule about calling hours being 9 to 9 unless something is wrong.  It doesn't matter what member of my family you call, the phone will be answered with a very concerned "What's wrong" instead the joyful "Hello" if it's outside these hours.  This was clearly past hours and I answered accordingly.

The tiniest of voices responded to my inquiry with a question of her own - did I get her Skype message.  I had to tell her no because I wasn't working that night so I wasn't in the office at my computer.  That's when she told me the news that would break my heart for several reason... that is when she told me that her roommate's mother was found dead a few hours ago.

I won't go into the details because they point in a direction that I'm not sure this poor child has followed to yet.  I doubt she reads her roommate's mother's blog but you never know and it's best to just not go there.  I'll simply say it was a selfish act and that if I could, I would bring her back and scream at her for it even though we were not friends.  I would scream at her for the state she has left my child in, not to mention her own children.  I would scream at her to remind her that nothing lasts forever and things will always get better if you just give it time.

My poor baby, who is on the other side of the state and I can't wrap my arms around, dissolved into a puddle.  Partly for her friend that she's known since they were sophomores in high school and partly because the horrify thought that your parents honestly might not live forever has now become a garish reality.  Through heavy waves of tears, my darling girl confessed that she never wanted me to leave her.  She made me promise that her father and I were healthy and would be around as long as we could, no matter what... which I did, repeatedly and with as much conviction as I could so she knew that regardless of anything that happens in this world, we will always be here for her.

We were on the phone until well past midnight that night.  The conversation wandered around and back again as she worked her way through processing the events of the day.  We talked about school and art and dreams of the future.  We talked about the past and the harsh reality of the day.  She wanted to know that I will always be there and I wanted to show her that I would.  She has always known it but some days, it just helps to exercise it out once and a while.  I was going to be on that phone for as long as she needed me to be, even if it was to just sit and be quiet with her. 

That night I told her that if she wanted to come home, her father and I would make it happen but she refused because she had classes the next day.  She had a world and life that required her to be a part of it.  I was so proud of her decision too.  I slept with the phone so that in case she had a rough night, she could call and I would be able to get to the phone quickly.  I walked around all day the next day with the phone with me, and she did call me.  She called me about five times that day, just to know I was there.  Once was to give me an update on events regarding her roommate and what she was able to do for her at the school.  Once to debate the pros and cons of walking all the way to the craft store, once to walk with her to get lunch, and once to actually walk to the craft store.  She even called later on that night to talk to her daddy and give him the latest update on events, both of the sad and cheerful variety.

I know that my daughter is built of some strong stuff but this week, even during the moments that still bring to me to tears when I think about them, she has shown me what a kind, compassionate, and precious woman she has become.  Though my heart breaks every time I think of her being so sad, scared, and alone, I can't help but be a little proud at how she pulled herself up, squared her shoulders, and soldiered on.  Facing her first encounter with the passing of someone, she handled it with grace and I now know that there is nothing in this world that she won't be able to overcome.

Life is precious.... it's fragile... it's scary... but it is also wonderful, if you simply allow it to be.  Nothing is so terrible that it will last forever.  You can overcome any obstacle if you simply believe in yourself, in others, and in a higher power to help you through.  He would not lead you to it if He wasn't also going to lead you through it.  Hug your loved ones today and remind them that you will always be there for them, no matter what.  They may giggle and say "I know" and that's fine but dollar to donut, they'll feel better just hearing it out loud.

02 April 2014

One down, several more to go

I have been working on presents for people lately.  I know, I know.  You're sitting there thinking "Amy, you give most of your stuff away so this is nothing new" and that is true.  This is different though.  Most of the stuff I give away is because the person said they thought it was cute so I just hand it over.  Occasionally it is a case of "so-and-so has this-and-that coming up so I'm going to make a whositswhatsits for them", which is what these are... well, all but one.  One thing on my list is simply because I love them and they mean the world to me.

So here is my first finished whositswhatsits of the month!
Yeah, it was supposed to be gender neutral but that peach sure does read pink, doesn't it.
I have a hat to finish as well as possibly a toy but we'll see how far I get.  The hat is in progress so it's next to be off the hook.  Thankfully the hat is white.  I think I've blown the gender cover on this project so I am just going to add an amazing flower to the side and simply tell her to not open my present until the baby arrives.  I have to ship it overseas so I may hold off until I know I can time it's delivery with the baby's.

Once I'm done with the hat, I've got a "sooper sekret" thing to get cracking on... well, I have to find the perfect pattern first so it may wait a bit longer until that happens, though I do have wonderful yarn that will look beautiful against her skin and really play up her pretty hair and eyes.  All I need is the perfect pattern to make them sing.

That's my wound-up for this Wednesday.  Are you working on anything awesome?

01 April 2014

I need your help, please...

Pattern image (c) Vicky Chan but the other two are my own from my Ravelry stash files
I want to make this sweater.  It's called Irene and it's linked in the photo credit caption.  My challenge is, I don't know what yarn combination I want to use.

If I go with the greens, the lighter shade would be the yoke and I'd do the banding of the body and sleeves in it as well with the body being the darker shade.  If I go with the pink and variegated combination, the pink would be the yoke and banding with the variegated as the body.

I love both combinations and I can't decided so I need your help, please!  Which do you think would look better?  Here's some music while you think it over...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...